Regardless of just how much you’d like to disown your cluttered garage (I’m sure the thought has crossed your mind), the truth of the matter is that it’s yours, which means you’re eventually going to have to do something about the mess it’s become. Actually, forget eventually, why not do it now?
The following tasks for freeing your garage of clutter are especially helpful for those of you that can no longer park your vehicle inside – or for that matter even safely walk inside – the garage. When you take the time to devote even one full day to organizing garage clutter it will pay off in a big way.
Task #1: Definition, Definition, Definition
Before you begin de-cluttering your garage, you should take a few moments to decide how you want the space to be used, by asking yourself “What is my goal for this space?” While some may wish to just park their cars inside, others may view it as storage space, while others may want to turn into a livable space.
Task #2: Divide and Conquer
Now that you have defined your space, it’s time to sort through the all of the clutter, in order to determine what items you are actually going to keep/store, toss/recycle, and donate/sell (more on this below). So that you don’t become overwhelmed in the first few minutes, take frequent breaks.
- Keep/store only those items that you actually use and that serve a useful purpose such as tools, garden supplies, holiday decorations and sports equipment (and only if you’ve used these items within the past year).
- Toss/recycle broken, out-of-date, or expired items. If something is cracked or doesn’t start anymore, toss it, even if you think you can fix it – as more often than not it’ll just get forgotten.
- Donate/sell items that you either have too much of, haven’t used in quite some time, or that don’t serve a useful purpose. It is best to only donate or sell items that are in good condition and that have not been recalled.
Task #3: Go Vertical
Spaces such as the garage and in some cases attics are great areas in which to go vertical. With the stuff you’ll be storing that is! Items that are large or just aren’t used all that often (i.e. camping gear, holiday decorations, etc.) can be stored on metal racks that hang from the ceiling.
For items that are used more frequently, use open wall shelving units and pegboards (an absolute must-have for handy homeowners), along with clear rubberized containers for storage. We highly recommend placing labels on each container as well as above each item stored on the pegboard.
Task #4: Cleaning Up
Now that you have successfully completed the three tasks listed above, you’ll want to further resign yourself to actually sweeping and cleaning the garage floor, and ensuring your garage door is operating optimally so that you can move your car back inside (if that’s what you defined the space for).